Despite the cancellations and delays due to the pandemic, Pacho Flores has been able to keep pace with the premieres of the new trumpet concerts within the project of shared commissions that he has been promoting over the last five years. Since the premiere of Arturo Marquez’s Concierto de Otoño on September 2018 by the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México and Carlos Miguel Prieto, 12 of the 21 foreseen premieres of this project have already taken place. The premiere of Historias de Flores y Tangos, by Daniel Freiberg, last 23 October, is the half-way mark on the premiere calendar, which will receive a great boost—should Omicron allow it—in 2022, in which we will see the last premieres of Paquito D’Rivera’s Concerto Venezonano (Spain and US) and Roberto Sierra’s Salseando (Brasil and France), as well as Daniel Freiberg’s second premiere.
The program also includes Cantos y Revueltas: Fantasia Concertante for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings, by Pacho Flores, and the Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39, by Jan Sibelius
This concert also means the debut of Manuel Hernández-Silva with the Valencia Orchestra, one of the Spanish few with which he had not yet worked. Hernández-Silva has held four tenures as Principal Conductor in our country: Murcia Region Symphony, Cordoba Orchestra, Malaga Philharmonic and Navarra Symphony Orchestra, and has become the conductor with more presence in this project, with three premieres in Spain and three others in France, Norway and Sweden.
Cantos y Revueltas was premiered with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Hernández-Silva and Leo Rondón in January 2018 on a concert tour in Galicia, whose live recording gave rise to a double CD/DVD for Deutsche Grammophon. Since then, it has been often performed in Spain (Murcia, Malaga, Navarra, Extremadura) and it has already been premiered in the US, Mexico, Colombia and the United Kingdom. After this concert in Valencia, it is scheduled in Norway and Sweden. Cantos y Revueltas is actually a double concert in which the Venezuelan cuatro has a leading role, to whose development Leo Rondón, the soloist who premiered and recorded it, played a great part, and who will also be present in Valencia.
The Concerto Venezolano is a commission by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería (Mexico), the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (UK), the Orquesta de València (Spain) and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra (USA)
After the premieres of Concierto Venezolano in Mexico (Orquesta de Minería under Carlos Miguel Prieto) and the United Kingdom (Liverpool Philharmonic under Domingo Hindoyan), this third premiere in Valencia with Hernández-Silva will be the continental European premiere that precedes the end of the cycle two weeks later with the San Diego Symphony and Rafael Payare in the US. The concerts of this project of shared commissions are specifically written for the extraordinary conditions of Pacho Flores and the varied instruments provided by the Valencian house STOMVI, which has developed new four-piston prototypes in new keys that greatly expand the tessitura and range of colors and timbres of this instrument, and, therefore, also the expressive possibilities it offers to the soloist. As an example, this is the list of instruments that would be needed to face the complete cycle of new concerts: Trumpets in B flat, C and D, cornets in F, B flat and E flat, soprano cornets in F, G and A, and, of course, a flugelhorn in B flat, which is, at the express request of Pacho, present in all of these new works.
Pacho Flores with Vicente Honorato, General Director of STOMVI
This premiere is part of a project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts by important composers such as Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Daniel Freiberg, Efraín Oscher and D’Rivera himself.
An important detail to highlight about this project is that these works remain permanently in Pacho’s repertoire. Márquez’s concert, for example, has had further premieres in Poland, Colombia, France, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic after the first premieres by the orchestras that participated in the initial commission, and has been programmed especially in the USA (Louisiana, Colorado, Maine, Buffalo, Ohio) ,Spain (Galicia, Navarra, Cordoba) or Chile, with a total of more than 30 performances in just four years, and this in the midst of a global pandemic.
D. Freiberg, A. Márquez, P. D’Rivera, P. Flores and C. M. Prieto during the recording of Mestizo for Deutsche Grammophon
The Concerto Venezolano was recorded the same week of its premiere in Mexico in 2019, together with that of Arturo Márquez and two other concerts by composers who also participate in this project —not the works belonging to the project but rather previous ones: Concierto Mestizo de Efraín Oscher, premiered a decade ago (Caracas, 2010) with Bolívar and Hindoyan, and Crónicas Latinoamericanas by Daniel Freiberg, which is really an adaptation for trumpets of a concert originally written for clarinet by Paquito D’Rivera and premiered by the WDR Funkhausorchester and Wayne Marshall. The trumpet version was premiered by the Het Gelders Orkest from the Netherlands, conducted by Christian Vásquez. The release of this album was delayed by the pandemic, but it will finally be presented in the summer of 2022 and will be the 6th in Pacho’s discography—the 5th for Deutsche Grammophon—, after Cantar (2016), Entropía (2017), Fractales ( 2018) and Cantos y revueltas (2019). Pacho also appears as a guest soloist on several of Christian Lindberg’s recordings and acts as producer and conductor on the album Egregore, by trumpeter Fabio Brum for Naxos.
Marina Heredia makes her debut with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia conducted by José Trigueros, in a program that includes a selection of Canciones Españolas Antiguas, compiled and harmonized by Federico García Lorca and orchestrated by the conductor himself, and the brief intervention of El corregidor y la molinera, by Manuel de Falla. The concerts will take place in Santiago, A Coruña and Ourense on December 17, 18 and 22, respectively. This same program will be performed again with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia in February 2022, with concerts in other Galician towns such as Lugo or Valga.
Marina Heredia is one of the most internationally requested cantaoras to perform El Amor Brujo by Manuel de Falla. She has worked, among others, with the San Francisco and Chicago Symphony Orchestras, both under Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, with whom she has also recorded it for Harmonia Mundo with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. In France he has sung it with the Rouen Opera and the Orchestre National de Lille, both times under Josep Vicent, and she has more recently performed it in Spain at the Úbeda International Music and Dance Festival with the RTVE Orchestra led by Manuel Hernández-Silva, with whom she had already participated in a superb production by La Fura dels Baus at the Granada Festival.
Soon she will sing it again with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra under Pablo Heras-Casado in two iconic German halls such as the Philharmonie and the Konzerthaus, and shortly afterwards with the Orquestra Sinfónica do Porto Casa da Música conducted by Stefan Blunier. In the 2022/23 season, Marina will be a resident artist in the subscription series of a German orchestra to be announced in due course. During this artistic residency, Marina will perform El Amor Brujo as well as the world premiere of a work commissioned by the orchestra and composed specifically for her by a Spanish composer. She will also offer a flamenco concert with her company and an informal chamber music concert with musicians from the orchestra, which will include fragments of her last album, CAPRICHO.
Maestro Christian Vásquez will be conducting in Italy and Poland for the next two weeks: in Italy, he will lead the Sicilian Symphony Orchestra on November 26 and 27 at the Politeama Garibaldi Theater, in a program that includes concerts for saxophone and orchestra by Glazunov and Pierre-Philippe Bauzin, with saxophonist Alex Sebastianutto, and Symphony No. 8 by Dvořák. In Poland, he will conduct the National Music Forum Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra (NFM Filharmonia Wrocławska) on December 3. The program includes Vaughan Williams’s Suite for Viola and Orchestra, with Artur Tokarek as soloist, and Bizet’s Symphony in C. Immediately afterwards, Christian will travel to Paris to assist Gustavo Dudamel in the production of Le nozze di Figaro at the National Opera of Paris, whose performances will take place throughout the months of January and February, just before returning to Spain to lead the Navarra Symphony Orchestra, in a program that includes the Concerto-Capriccio for harp and orchestra by Xavier Montsalvatge with the harpist Cristina Montes, and Brahms’ 3rd Symphony.
Christian Vásquez was Music Director of the Teresa Carreño Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, leading them on an important tour around Europe which took them to perform in London, Lisbon, Toulouse, Munich, Stockholm and Istanbul. Vásquez has also been Principal Conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra between 2013 and 2019, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Het Gelders Orkest from 2015 till 2020, a tenure he started with a tour around The Netherlands featuring an all-Latin programme.
Following his debut with the Gävle Symfoniorkester in October 2009, one of his first appearances in Europe, Christian was appointed Principal Guest Conductor between 2010 and 2013. He has worked with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Residentie Orkest, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Vienna Radio Symphony, Camerata Salzburg, State Symphony of Russia, Tokyo Philharmonic and Singapore Symphony. In North America, he has conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa) and Los Angeles Philharmonic, the latter during his participation in their Young Artist Fellowship Program.
Since then he has conducted orchestras in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Estonia, Ireland, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Korea, etc. Christian’s first opera engagement in Europe was at the Norwegian Opera with Carmen. Christian Vásquez started playing the violin at the age of 8, in the city of San Sebastián de los Reyes (Aragua State). In 2006 he began his studies of orchestral conducting under maestro José Antonio Abreu, and that same year he was appointed musical director of the José Félix Ribas Youth Symphony Orchestra, in the Aragua State.
The Venezuelan cuatrista Leo Rondón accompanies Pacho Flores in two new important UK premieres with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under Domingo Hindoyan, current Principal Conductor of the orchestra. On November 11, they will premiere Concerto Venezolano, by Paquito D’Rivera, and on November 14 it will be the turn for Cantos y Revueltas, by Pacho Flores himself. The Concierto Venezolano was commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic together with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, which premiered and recorded it in the summer of 2019 under the direction of Carlos Miguel Prieto, the Valencia Orchestra, which will premiere it in Spain next February under Manuel Hernández-Silva, and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, which will offer the American premiere at the end February under its Principal Conductor Rafael Payare.
Concierto Venezolano is already scheduled in other places this season, such as the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra with Hernández-Silva or the Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, which will premiere it in France under Hernández-Silva together with Roberto Sierra’s Salseando, another result of this ambitious project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts dedicated to Pacho Flores.
Album cover of Cantos y Revueltas, with Flores, Rondón, the RFG and Hernández-Silva
Cantos y Revueltas, on the other hand, was premiered in 2018 by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia under Hernández-Silva and recorded for the homonymous album in Deutsche Grammophon. Since then, it has been performed by the Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, Malaga Philharmonic, Navarre Symphony Orchestra, Bolívar Philharmonic of Miami, TCU Latin American Festival of Fort Worth in Texas, Jalisco Philharmonic or the Orquesta de Extremadura, and is already programmed in Valencia and Gran Canaria, together with D’Rivera’s Concierto Venezolano, and soon in Norway and Sweden. With a few exceptions, all performances of Cantos y Revueltas have had Leo Rondón and Hernández-Silva together with Pacho Flores.
Freiberg, Márquez, D’Rivera, Flores and Prieto during a recording for Deutsche Grammophon
Project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts
The project of shared commissions has resulted in new trumpet concerts by composers such as Arturo Márquez, the aforementioned Paquito D’Rivera and Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Efraín Oscher or Daniel Freiberg, and has attracted the attention of orchestras from all the world. Some of these orchestras have been involved in more than one commission, such as the Oviedo Filarmonía, Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Orquesta de Minería in Mexico and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, which have shared commissions with the National Symphony of Mexico, Tucson Symphony, Hyogo PAC Orchestra of Japan, Orquesta de Valencia, San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, Orquestra do Estado de São Paulo, Arctic Philharmonic of Norway, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, Bilkent Symphony from Turkey or Walla Walla Symphony in the USA.
Pacho Flores with Vicente Honorato, CEO of STOMVI
All these concerts have been written for a wide variety of instruments —trumpets, cornets and flugelhorn— with four pistons and in different keys, some of them authentic prototypes that the Spanish brand STOMVI has manufactured for Pacho Flores in a personalized way, offering him a wide range of timbres and colors, a register and an expressive capacity never known before in a brass instrument.
Pacho Flores keeps adding premieres to this vibrant start of the season, this time together with the Oviedo Filarmonía and Lucas Macías for the absolute premiere of Historias de Flores y Tangos by Daniel Freiberg, a new shared commission with the participation of the Oviedo Filarmonía, the Arctic Philharmonic led by Manuel Hernández-Silva, the Orquesta de Minería with Carlos Miguel Prieto, and the Walla Walla Symphony under its principal conductor Yaacob Bergman. The Oviedo Filarmonía already participated in the commission of Concierto de otoño by Arturo Márquez, together with the Orquesta Nacional de México (Prieto), the Tucson Symphony conducted by José Luis Gómez, and the Hyogo PAC Orchestra led by Michiyoshi Inoue.
The Asturian orchestra has thus been involved in the first and last commissions within the first of the six phases the project consists of. The project also includes Paquito D’Rivera’s Concierto Venezolano, which will close its round of premieres in Spain with the Orquesta de Valencia under Hernández-Silva after being premiered by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (Domingo Hindoyan) and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra (Rafael Payare); the concert Salseando by Roberto Sierra, which was already premiered in Liverpool (Hindoyan) and Murcia (Hernández-Silva) and will close its round of premieres this season with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (Prieto) and the Orchestra National de Bordeaux -Aquitaine (Hernández-Silva); Danzas Latinas by Efraín Oscher, commissioned and premiered by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia with Hernández-Silva; and Christian Lindberg’s Caballos Mágicos, premiered by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia (Paul Daniel) and very recently by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra with Lindberg himself at the podium, with premieres in Turkey and the US in dates to be confirmed. Pacho Flores had previously premiered another concert by Daniel Freiberg, Crónicas Latinoamericanas, a transcription for trumpet of the original written for clarinet, with the Het Gelders Orkest under Christian Vásquez.
D. Freiberg, A. Márquez, P. D’Rivera, P. Flores and C. M. Prieto during the recording of Mestizo for Deutsche Grammophon
There is a double satisfaction for Pacho Flores in this project of shared commissions. On the one hand, it promotes an unprecedented expansion of the solo trumpet and orchestra repertoire. On the other hand, these new concerts, with enormous technical and musical demands that have fostered the great diversity of new four-piston prototypes in various keys that are being personally manufactured for Pacho by the house STOVI, have come to stay and are now being programmed on a regular basis. Márquez’s concert, whose round of premieres took place throughout the season 2018/19, has already been programmed almost thirty times after the last scheduled premiere; Oscher’s concert has already been performed in Mexico, France and Sweden and is scheduled this season with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra under Christian Vásquez; and Paquito D’Rivera’s concert is scheduled, also this season, with the Gran Canaria Philharmonic under Hernández-Silva. Several of these concerts have already been recorded for a new Deutsche Grammophon album that will be presented in 2022, and others will be recorded along the coming months. At the same time, Pacho Flores has already composed two concerts as well, Cantos y Revueltas, for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings, which has already been performed around the world, and what will possibly be the first concert for flugelhorn, soon to be released and for which STOMVI has designed three new instruments.